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James Carrier Photo by: James Carrier

Tomato and Basil Orzo Salad

Notes: Serve this warm salad as a main dish for a light lunch or as a dinner companion to grilled steak, chicken, or fish. For a casual appetizer, scoop spoonfuls of the salad into large leaves of fresh sweet basil.

Sunset MAY 2003

  • Yield: Makes 4 to 6 light-entrée servings or 8 to 10 side-dish servings


  • 1 1/2 cups dried orzo pasta
  • 1 1/4 pounds firm-ripe tomatoes, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • About 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper


1. In a 3- to 4-quart pan over high heat, bring 1 1/2 to 2 quarts water to a boil. Add orzo and cook until barely tender to bite, 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, rinse and core tomatoes; chop and place in a large bowl. Add basil, garlic, olive oil, and vinegar; mix gently.

3. Drain pasta well and add to tomato mixture. Mix, adding parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper to taste.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 255
  • Calories from fat: 32%
  • Protein: 7.8g
  • Fat: 9g
  • Saturated fat: 1.8g
  • Carbohydrate: 37g
  • Fiber: 2.6g
  • Sodium: 74mg
  • Cholesterol: 2.6mg

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Tomato and Basil Orzo Salad recipe